Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 4/1/13
The Miami Marlins could have safely assumed two things heading into their Opening Day game against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.1. Theyd probably need a well-pitched game from Ricky Nolasco and the relievers.2. Theyd likely need to make the most of any scoring opportunities against one of baseballs best pitchers.Nolasco certainly did his part, allowing just three hits in six innings. Unfortunately for Miami, two of the hits were Bryce Harper solo home runs that gave Washington a 2-0 victory at Nationals Park on Monday afternoon.Harper, last years National League Rookie of the Year, entered this season swinging a hot bat after hitting .478 this spring. He wasted little time in satisfying the D.C. crowd as he sent a hanging 1-0 curve into the right-field seats with two out in the first.Washingtons young offensive star then led off the fourth by homering on a 3-2 Nolasco slider.Ricky did a nice job, Miamis Mike Redmond said after his first game as a major league manager. Obviously, he made just two bad pitches there for home runs and that was the difference in the game. Otherwise, wed still be out there playing.Nolasco thought he only made one mistake.The first ball, I wasnt really expecting him to swing, Nolasco said, but hes aggressive and I laid it in there and he hit it out.The rest of the way, I thought I threw the ball pretty well. Even the second (homer) was a decent pitch. He just went down there and got it.Hopefully for Redmond and the Marlins, other Miami starters were watching Nolasco minimize damage and give his team a chance to win the game.Then again, it also wouldnt have hurt if members of the Marlins rotation took notes on Strasburg. The Nationals right-hander, whose 2012 season was cut short by a team-imposed pitch count, looked to be in midseason form with seven shutout innings.Strasburg surrendered a single to Juan Pierre leading off the game then retired 19 straight Marlins until Giancarlo Stanton doubled with one out in the seventh.Stantons two-bagger put a runner in scoring position with less than two outs. Against Strasburg and the Nats, such situations need to be converted.Marlins newcomer Placido Polanco reached on an infield single, with Stanton advancing to third.All of a sudden, the Marlins had the tying runs on base with one out.Lefty swinging Rob Brantly hit a fly to short left field, where Harper made the catch before throwing home on a fly to keep Stanton at third.Catcher Wilson Ramos, however, caught Polanco straying from first base. A rundown ensued, allowing Stanton to break for home. The Marlins star was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.Polanco made an error in judgment, and the veteran knows it. "(Polanco) thought Stanton was going to go, Redmond was quoted on MLB.com. He faked halfway down the line, and he stopped. I think that's what happened, he took off because he thought he was going to go. Stanton would have been out anyway.Plays like that get magnified when we only get three hits. That's the difference.Opening day represents just one of 162 games a loooong season. And losing to Strasburg and the defending NL East champs is no embarrassment. In fact, it probably was expected by many people.But the 2013 Miami Marlins will need to get good pitching, play intelligent baseball and manufacture runs to be successful.Nolasco and relievers Chad Qualls and Mike Dunn one scoreless inning apiece did their part on Monday. The Marlins baserunners did not. Charlie McCarthy can be reached at mac1763@bellsouth.net or on Twitter @mccarthy_chas
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The Weirdest Trade In Baseball History
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Draymond Green mocks LeBron James after flop

Andy Reid: Chiefs can win with Alex Smith

Romo likely to pick team he wants to be traded to

David Ortiz slams door on rumors of potential comeback

JJ Watt said to be ahead of schedule in back injury recovery

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Seahawks expect Earl Thomas to be ready for 2017 season

SD moving companies refusing to help Chargers relocate

Brown could be fined for sharing Tomlin's speech on Facebook

Future denies being on Falcons sideline to mess with Wilson

Green to wear 'Sideline Racism' shoes on MLK Day

Bill O'Brien refuses to commit to Osweiler as Texans' starter

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

The week in NFL news as explained by Heart

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The Mulligan: Why Chip Kelly deserves a second chance after the Niners

College coaches on the NFL's radar as the coaching carousel starts spinning

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

TailGreater: Picking the NFL divisional round games by hometown brews

The sports classic horror villains would play

Guilt-free guide to NFL playoff bandwagon fun

Box Score 1/13: Warming up for the playoff weekend

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill, others as playoffs progress

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

The week in NFL news as explained by Heart

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

QUIZ: Name every Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Pro-Bowler in the Super Bowl Era

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

The sports classic horror villains would play

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill and others as playoffs progress

NFL Divisional Round watchablity index

QUIZ: Name the 12 members of the San Diego Chargers in the NFL Hall of Fame

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker